4-H Member to 4-H Alumna to 4-H Intern

May 10, 2024

4-H Member to 4-H Alumna to 4-H Intern

May 10, 2024

Editor's Note:

At this time of year, Senior 4-H'ers are graduating out of high school and into their next step in life. As parents, we celebrate our children's accomplishments and are proud to share them widely! As our 4-H'ers graduate to their next adventure, we want to acknowledge all the parents, family members, and 4-H volunteers who have served as leaders and mentors to help our youth grow their skills for the future.

This post was written by Toni Dowdell. She is the mother of Eve Dowdell, our 4-H Communications Intern in the State Office. It was originally published in the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau News in October 2023 (p.22).


4-H Member to 4-H Alumna to 4-H Intern

Aging out of 4-H is that sort of rite of passage at a time when young adult 4-H'ers are easing their way into full-on adulthood. These youth members continue in 4-H until they reach the age of nineteen and can no longer participate in 4-H as a youth member. While some move onto other paths, most go on to give back to 4-H in one way or another. Discovering a way to do both has become a delight for Eve Dowdell, a 2022 4-H alumna. She completed her 4-H youth career and is embarking on the road to 4-H adult volunteering and state internship.

Eve Dowdell was pinned “4-H Alumna” at the State Leadership Conference. During the ceremony, Eve was announced as a recipient of both the Golden Clover Award and the Diamond Clover, the highest achievement for which a 4-H member is recognized. As well, 4-H members, leaders, and representatives from all over California bid her farewell on her 2021-2022 term as State Ambassador. Eve is the first State Ambassador from Stanislaus County in five years; that's since Gabriella Germann, a Stanislaus County native, served on the 2016-2017 State Ambassador team.

Eve's notable 4-H skills and accomplishments enabled her to shine as State Ambassador. She and her team developed a campaign centered on encouraging youth to begin living their legacy now. While her team was responsible for implementing CA 4-H Youth Development Programs, creating educational workshops for County 4-H Ambassadors, and facilitating educational programs for other States' Ambassadors, Eve had the availability and specialized skillset to represent her team at Ag Day at the Capitol and on various State 4-H committees. She was invited to present informational sessions for the State 4-H staff towards advancing the CA 4-H social media platform. Using her talent for publicizing wacky Tiktok's to classy Instagram stories, Eve designed and shared content to boost the presence of the CA 4-H brand, the State Ambassador's platform, and CA 4-H Ag.

Eve's passion for 4-H, communication, and pink showed through in all of her social media promotions. With little effort, anyone could see how 4-H is an avenue to cultivate her sparks and share them with her community. She seized every opportunity to mention her favorite things and how they relate to her 4-H experience. Her videos supporting upcoming 4-H events or honoring heroes, National American Sign Language (ASL) Day, and National Pink Day were her way of connecting with her fellow members in her own unique way.

Among her role as State Ambassador, Eve has had many successes in 4-H that led to significant contributions during her 4-H years. Her service as County President of Hi 4-H (yes, the ones who make the delicious milkshakes at the county fair!), President of Shooting Stars 4-H (her home club of eleven years), and Staff/Counselor on the County Camp Committee are just a few of them. She served her third term on the State 4-H Advisory Committee and helped run the first State Camping Conference since the pandemic. Eve thrives on communicating with 4-H'ers across the state and supporting them in their endeavors. Whether through club work, county programs, or national opportunities, her caring and influencing attitude promotes a sense of belonging and gives 4-H members the prompting they need to believe they can achieve their goals, master skills, and positively impact their communities. She says seeing young 4-H'ers taking advantage of all that 4-H has to offer reminds her of her own early 4-H years, when her eyes dazzled at the sight of older 4-H'ers in the spotlight.

Over the years, Eve has been an outstanding role model who has connected to and affected the lives of many. With great compassion, competency, and character, Eve has shown that she embodies the essence of a true leader. Her influence has mostly been recognized in her commitment to 4-H project leadership. Particularly, projects such as ASL, Dance, Communications, and Embroidery, where she embraced her sparks, are her favorite projects to lead. Through all her project roles, her magnetic personality inspires others, adults and youth members alike, to succeed in facing life's challenges with integrity, determination, and a smile. Eve continues to serve 4-H members as an officer advisor for Shooting Stars 4-H club, county co-advisor for the Stanislaus Hi 4-H Committee, and assistant to County Ambassador teams. Most recently, she started as a student intern in Marketing and Communications for the UC ANR State 4-H Youth Development Program. In Eve's effort to give back through her internship, she creates and maintains marketing communications that showcase the best of CA 4-H members, and continues to promote State 4-H programs.

As Eve is no stranger to achievement, she is making headlines at Modesto Junior College (MJC), where she pursues Communication Studies. Her contributions on campus have put her in the spotlight as ASL Club officer, President of Alpha Kappa chapter of Sigma Chi Eta, and member of the 2022-2023 Intercollegiate Speech & Debate Team. Her time on the Speech & Debate team has earned MJC the Hornet Cup, 1st Place Sweepstakes Award, and the Phi Ro Pi 2023 National Award. Eve began her competition year as Top Novice at the Golden Gate Opener, then took two 1st Placings at the Mustang and the Paul Winters Invitationals for her persuasive speech performance. In her speech, she advocated for the deaf community by calling for ADA accommodations in drive-throughs. She went on to claim 3rd Place at the Northern CA Forensics Association Championship and 1st Places in both Communication Analysis and Persuasive Speech at the Hornet Tournament. These accomplishments are a credit to all her years of learning by doing in 4-H. Eve says she pulls from her experience toolbox, having learned and taught the value of resiliency, civil discourse, motivating others for impactful change, and building connections. Eve is a tremendous source of encouragement and guidance, with a tenacity for working with individuals from various cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and mindsets. Eve adds

“Whether I am tutoring or facilitating a campus life event, I want to be an approachable light and friend to the students of MJC. I've been privileged with opportunities to employ self-management. Now I want to contribute my skills, insight, and perspective, and give back what I have been so generously given. As I develop my own passions and knowledge, I am only fulfilled knowing that I have also influenced another's growth and sparked their passions. Like 4-H, MJC has a powerful foundation, helping students grow in their field of study. I'm thankful to be a contributor to that growth.”

Eve's greatest passion remains in her faith. She regularly makes time to support youth mentorship and volunteers as a bible study leader and on the prayer team for her church, JC Fans.

Let's celebrate and thank Eve for sharing her time, gifts, and positive attitude for the benefit of our 4-H youth and our community.

By Toni Dowdell
By Suzanne Morikawa
Editor - YFC Marketing and Communications Specialist